(Edmonton, June 19) – Interstellar Rodeo is all about the vibe: great music, fine wine and good times. Above and beyond the meticulously curated single stage weekend lineup, which now includes the All Stars – Kathleen Edwards, Luke Doucet and Joel Plaskett – what makes the Interstellar experience special are the paired wines. A shared ethos drives the Interstellar Rodeo music and wine programming: both seek to present singular artistry and creative bravery, and to celebrate individuals who dedicate their lives to their craft.
The pairings are painstakingly matched by Gurvinder Bhatia (aka @EdmontonWineGuy), our very own wine curator. Gurvinder is well known as the owner of Vinomania, local and national wine columnist/editor and international wine judge.
As evidenced in the eloquent write-ups below, Bhatia’s selections for 2015 are inspired by the histories, qualities and idiosyncrasies of the artists who will take the stage. Bhatia finds echoes of their greatness in his chosen vintners, varietals and vintages.
With our fully licensed venue and on-site wait staff, the Interstellar Rodeo experience brings the best of music and wine together, highlighting the individual stars of both worlds in one distinctive event.
2015 WINE PAIRINGS:
FRIDAY, July 24
Bartier Bros Semillon, Okanagan BC
Soulful, bluesy, original, understated, yet edgy best describe the music of Shakey Graves and the wines of Michael Bartier. Both have the ability to appeal to the indie-crowd with their unique offerings while drawing in the mainstream because they’re just that undeniably good. The Semillon is bright, crisp and refreshing with an engaging tension of minerality, fruit, and structure. Both Shakey Graves and the wines of Michael Bartier have been touted as “the next big thing,” but for those in the know, they’re both already there.
Pietradolce Etna Rosso, Sicily Italy
The queen of high energy art-rock, Annie Clark’s retrained intensity always seems to be on the edge of completely letting loose. Part techno, part horns, part brute force rock n’ roll and part polished avant-garde experimental, St. Vincent’s modernity has a classic old school appeal. The Etna Rosso, grown on the slopes of the tallest active volcano in Europe, combines great focus, intensity and finesse with a stony minerality. Don’t let the finesse fool you, the wine is packed with character. From 100% Nerello Mascalese, a grape you should discover if you haven’t already. Same goes for the music of St. Vincent. They’ll both rock your perceptions of what modern really is.
SATURDAY, July 25
Capezzana Vin Ruspo Rosato, Tuscany Italy
Don’t let anyone tell you that rosé isn’t a serious wine and don’t let the self-deprecation lead you to believe that NQ Arbuckle isn’t serious about their music. Deep, introspective, subtle, heartfelt and finessed describe both the music and the wine. Great depth of flavour with bright cherry and strawberry flavours, savoury and fresh with the structure of a red, but without the grippy tannins, excellent balance and bright on the finish. A nice juxtaposition to the sober reverence of the band’s lyrics.
Jean Paul Brun Beaujolais ‘L’Ancien’, Burgundy France
Rhiannon Giddens and JP Brun are making music and wines that will inevitably stand the test of time. With her velvety pipes, incredible range and blues/jazzy/gospel sounds, Giddens is a throwback to the past, but so relevant today. Elegant, soft and silky, Beaujolais (no, not Nouveau) has been around seemingly forever, but its quality today may be better than it’s ever been. Fresh, pure and unmarked by intervention, the wine and music couldn’t be more down to earth. An obvious choice for those seeking sincerity, honesty and quality. Prepare to be dazzled.
Road 13 ‘Chip Off the Old Block’ Chenin Blanc, Okanagan BC
The toe-tapping, head-nodding, edgy, rebellious and intriguingly sexy and sweet brassy sounds of pop rocker Elle King truly stand out and elevate the quality of music filling our airwaves, much like Road 13 clearly is among those wineries elevating the standards of the Canadian wine industry. The wine originates from a vineyard planted with cuttings from one of the Okanagan’s oldest vineyards resulting in a vibrant and fresh wine that is bright, juicy and youthful with a racy finish. Both winemaker and artist rely on old time traditions with a modern approach to create something of substance while having a hell of a lot of fun in the process.
Orofino Riesling, Similkameen Valley BC
Intense, visceral, spiritual, gut-wrenching, physical, emotional and heaving are the only ways to describe the performance of Tanya Tagaq. That is, at least, only after you’ve had some time to process her one-of-kind, Inuit throat singing punk/traditional/roots/electric and powerful vocal style which initially leaves you gobsmacked, not knowing how to describe this utterly unique and talented artist. Only a wine with laser focus and intensity could come close as a pairing, but that’s exactly the case with this chalky, zesty, mineral-laden wine with electric acidity and complex racy finish. The first taste/listen may be a bit of a shock, but put aside your inhibitions and experience the vivacity.
Father John Misty
Maycas del Limari Syrah Reserva Especial, Limari Valley Chile
Compelling, restrained, expressive, articulate, droll, tender, reflective, and emotion evoking best describe the sounds and engaging lyrics of Josh Tillman. Tillman and Maycas winemaker Marcelo Papa seem like kindred spirits. The Syrah is meaty, fresh, filled with dark fruit and pepper with a long, seductive finish. Both Tillman and Papa are insightful and intelligent without the highbrow attitude and possess an elegant restraint in their music and wines which may initially conceal their artistic complexities. There’s no fancy packaging, just substance and an understated energy.
SUNDAY, July 26
Benjamin Bridge Tidal Bay, Nova Scotia
It’s hard not to be taken in by Suzie Ungerleider’s pure and unadulterated voice. Nova Scotia’s Tidal Bay brilliantly reflects the terroir, coastal breezes and cooler climate of its birthplace. Fresh, uplifting and youthful aromas of lemons interlaced with ripe apricots, lemon-lime and quartz are revealed by this wine’s rare harmonious purity, focus and precision, a perfect match with Suzie’s eloquent music and lyrics. Compelling, intoxicating, natural and amazing, Suzie and the wine invite you in to a place where simplicity evokes so much emotion and puts your mind and soul to ease.
Black Joe Lewis
Ruggeri Rose di Pinot Brut, Veneto Italy
The energetic blues, funk and soul sounds of Black Joe Lewis will compel you to get up and move. Makes you want to party and what better way to kick it up than with bubbles…make that pink bubbles. This down to earth Italian rosé sparkler made from Pinot Noir grapes possesses lively fresh cherry, strawberry and citrus flavours with dancing bubbles and an uplifting, vibrant finish. Energetic, fresh and fun combining a lot of tradition with an invigorating modern flair and a complete lack of pretense. The perfect match for the funky, soulful and rockin’ sounds of this high energy mainstay of the marquee festival circuit.
Lee Harvey Osmond
Artesana Tannat, Uruguay
There’s no easy way to describe the ever-creating musical mind of the omnipresent Tom Wilson. Psychedelic folk, country and roots are all encompassed with this versatile artist’s creative and insightful music and lyrics conveyed via his deep, comforting growl. Similarly, the dark and edgy Tannat combines old world depth and complexity with a comforting approachability – defying traditional labels. They both lure you in with their intensity, but instead of trying to define their respective styles, just have a listen and a taste, relax, kick back and go with it. You’ll be glad you did.
Lake Street Dive
S.Maria la Palma Cannonau ‘Le Bombarde’, Sardinia Italy
If you haven’t heard Lake Street Dive, then you need to grab yourself a glass of Cannonau and get ready for the infectious, exhilarating pop/soul/r&b sounds of this Brooklyn based quartet, reminiscent of the bands of the British Invasion. Similarly, one taste and the Cannonau will impress with its multi-dimensional layers, spice, leather, penetrating flavours and lively character. There’s no denying the appeal of both the band and the wine or their ability to bring people together to share an experience that can turn every show into an unstoppable late night party of joy.
Marotti Campi Verdicchio ‘Albiano’, Marche Italy
The beauty of music and wine is that they tell a story of people, places, cultures and history. They represent history in the making, snapshots of moments in time allowing both songwriter and winemaker to share with those in the future the joys, challenges, hardships and victories they experienced in the creation of their art. Neither Sainte-Marie nor Marotti Campi follow a blueprint. Their creations emerged from within to create songs and wine that transcend labels. Understated but powerful, elegant and serious, complex but still approachable. Well- constructed with a message for the ages, respecting tradition while always being relevant and ahead of the curve. Quite simply…timeless.
Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires
Navarro Lopez Rojo Garnacha, Castilla Spain
He may have spent time as a James Brown impersonator, but there is no mistaking that Charles Bradley’s sound is his own. Soulful struggles, heartache and joyful expressions of love are all inspirationally evident in the heartfelt, uplifting testification of the Screaming Eagle of Soul. The Garnacha offers depth, intrigue and loads of character with its engaging aromas of liquorice and wild berries, elegant, rich, silky and fresh, minerality and penetrating intensity. Attention-grabbing and substantial without intimidation, it’s hard not to be stopped in your tracks and drawn in by both Bradley and the wine.
2015 House wines
White – Fabiano Pinot Grigio, Veneto Italy
Red – Navarro Lopez Old Vines Tempranillo ‘Pergolas’, Valdepenas Spain
For more information,
Aimée Hill, Interstellar Rodeo
Media accreditation forms are now available through www.interstellarrodeo.com